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9 Tips for Wildlife Photography

Wildlife Photography is not just for professionals. Even amateurs can do wildlife photography. There are a lot of experienced photographers that don’t make the cut. At the same time, a lot of amateurs make it through. Beginners or amateur photographers click average-quality photographs because of a lack of skills.

They are not able to align creativity with technical expertise. Also, they lack sufficient knowledge about the kind of equipment and camera to be used. In this blog, we will give wildlife photography tips to beginners. For those trying their hand at this creative yet challenging field, we will help them gain expertise.

Tips for beginners

1.) Location of the Shoot

One significant factor in determining the quality of the photograph is the location of the shoot. For instance, if you are visiting a caged zoo, you probably need a camera with a shorter lens. You can be in close proximity to the animals there, and there is no danger to your life. However, if you are taking photos of wild animals in the jungle, you need a camera with a longer lens. This is because it can be dangerous to go near wild animals. Hence, the location where the shot is being taken is important. Beginners in Wildlife Photography should keep this in mind.

Butterfly in crystal © Ugo Mellone Borntechy
Butterfly in crystal © Ugo Mellone

There are a number of locations made just for wildlife photography. These locations provide wildlife photographers with the perfect opportunity. You can look for these on the internet.

2.) Weather Situation

Another major contributing factor is the weather. Normal or pleasant weather is the best for taking wildlife photographs. Bright light can create shadows, which is not the best scenario. If you don’t want to have a shadow, you can use Flash. But there is an issue with using Flash. Using Flash can scare away the animals. You need another plan to clear the shadows.

Nosy neighbour © Sam Hobson Borntechy
Nosy neighbour © Sam Hobson

This can be done using Photoshop. The perfect amount of light needed is on a cloudy day. Although the light is good, cloudy days can increase the amount of bounce light.

3.) Autofocus Performance

The autofocus feature in cameras is a must. It is a crucial consideration for any wildlife photographer. If an action-packed moment is to be captured, you need autofocus. The autofocus performance of the camera needs to be solid. Wildlife photographers, especially bird photographers, need superior autofocus to capture images of birds.

This is because birds get easily scared away. The photographer has seconds literally before it flies away. The autofocus feature in Cameras lets your camera automatically focus in such moments. Without AF performance, it would be extremely difficult to capture such shots.

4.) ISO Performance

ISO performance is a camera setting that lets you adjust the brightness. It should be set to optimum before you take that camera out in the wild. These settings should be adjusted according to the weather. If the lighting is good, let’s say on a sunny day, then ISO should be set to low.

African elephants at twilight, Chobe National Park, Botswana

On a cloudy day, the ISO should be set to a medium range. If the light is not ample, the ISO settings need to be adjusted a little high. It is recommended not to use the auto ISO feature. Using this feature can lead to noise issues that would need fixing later.

5.) The Background

One extremely crucial rule while getting into Wildlife Photography is to keep a simple background. You don’t want to have a flashy background that distracts its viewers. You would want them to focus fully on the photograph.

Chimpanzee male at waterhole, Fongoli, Senegal

For that reason, a simple background would work wonders. Although you want a simple background, you also need a contrasting background. An image that contrasts with its background is well-taken by the audience. You must choose an angle that provides that contrast.

6.) Continuous Focus

You should use continuous focus if you want to capture images in motion. This is not easy. It requires a lot of practice. Should you need to hone this particular skill, we would recommend you to go for Macro Photography. Also, your shutter speed should be good for you to focus continuously.

A painted wolf puppy emerges from the depths of the den. Image: Nicholas Dyer.
A painted wolf puppy emerges from the depths of the den. Image: Nicholas Dyer.

If not practiced well enough, the images you take will be blurred. The animal you are capturing should be at the dot. To achieve this feat, you should have a shutter speed of 1/30 sec. For even more difficult captures, the shutter speed needs to be 1/500.

7.) The Best Perspective

Perspective is yet another important feature that should be in the mind of the photographer. There’s no use taking photos in the wild if you do not have the ideal perspective. You need to take your own sweet time to find the perspective. For instance, while pictures of birds perched on the tree, you should be lying down on the ground for the best perspective.

8.) The Best Lighting Hours

There are a couple of hours in the day that is any photographer’s favorite. Lighting early in the morning before sunrise and an hour after sunset seems to be ideal for photography. At these times, there’s a certain golden glow in the light. Images taken in this time duration look perfectly surreal.

9.) Wider Shots

Professional Photographers love to get wider shots. While a wider shot beautifully links the animal with its background, a lower aperture also adjusts the lighting well.


Wildlife Photography is not easy. The life of a photographer can also get in danger. You need a lot of enthusiasm, skill, and caution to make it as a successful wildlife photographer. And most importantly, you should be extremely patient. There could be days when in the wild, even after searching for days, you could not get the shot or perfect light is not available, or due to some technical issue, days of effort get wasted. In times of such despair, you need to pat yourself on the back, take your camera and get up again!

Also Read – SBCGlobal Email Official Information


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